APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR VALVE ACTUATION

- BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED

An apparatus for controlling fluid flow that includes a chamber having a first valve and a second valve; a sensor that senses a pressure parameter associated with the chamber; and a controller programmed to operate the first valve and the second valve in response to the sensed pressure parameter may be used to control for flow and to obtain data relating to a formation and/or formation fluid.

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Description

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No.: 61/305,334, filed Feb. 17, 2010.

This disclosure pertains generally to investigations of underground formations and more particularly to systems and methods for formation testing and fluid sampling within a borehole.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

To obtain hydrocarbons such as oil and gas, well boreholes are drilled by rotating a drill bit attached at a drill string end. Modern directional drilling systems generally employ a drill string having a bottomhole assembly (BHA) and a drill bit at an end thereof that is rotated by a drill motor (mud motor) and/or the drill string. A number of downhole devices placed in close proximity to the drill bit measure certain downhole operating parameters associated with the drill string. Such devices typically include sensors for measuring downhole temperature and pressure, azimuth and inclination measuring devices and a resistivity-measuring device to determine the presence of hydrocarbons and water. Additional downhole instruments, known as measurement-while-drilling (MWD) or logging-while-drilling (LWD) tools, are frequently attached to the drill string to determine formation geology and formation fluid conditions during the drilling operations. Commercial development of hydrocarbon fields requires significant amounts of capital. Before field development begins, operators desire to have as much data as possible in order to evaluate the reservoir for commercial viability. While data acquisition during drilling provides useful information, it is often also desirable to conduct further testing of the hydrocarbon reservoirs in order to obtain additional data. Therefore, after the well has been drilled, the hydrocarbon zones are often tested with other test equipment.

In one aspect, the present disclosure addresses the need to enhance control of devices used for acquiring data related to subsurface information.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

In aspects, the present disclosure provides devices and methods for controlling fluid flow and/or estimating one or more parameters of interest of a formation using direct or indirect pressure parameter measurements relating to a flow control device. The apparatus may include a chamber having a first valve and a second valve; a sensor that senses a pressure parameter associated with the chamber; and a controller programmed to operate the first valve and the second valve in response to the sensed pressure parameter.

In aspects, the present disclosure includes a method for controlling fluid flow. The method may include controlling a first valve and a second valve in fluid communication with a chamber by sensing a pressure parameter associated with the chamber. In aspects, the present method estimates one or more parameters of interest that include, but are not limited to, a volume of pumped fluid, a presence of a gas in the fluid, fluid compressibility, a pressure at a selected wellbore location, and a bubble point pressure.

In aspects, the present disclosure provides an apparatus for sampling a fluid from a subsurface formation. The apparatus may include a pump in fluid communication with the at least one sampling tank. The pump may include a chamber having a first valve and a second valve; a sensor configured to sense a pressure parameter associated with the chamber; and a controller programmed to operate the first valve and the second valve in response to the sensed pressure parameter; a sampling probe configured to contact a wellbore wall and being in fluid communication with the first valve; and at least one sampling tank in fluid communication with the second valve.

Examples of the more important features of the disclosure have been summarized rather broadly in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood and in order that the contributions they represent to the art may be appreciated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a detailed understanding of the present disclosure, reference should be made to the following detailed description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like elements have been given like numerals, wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a schematic of a downhole tool deployed in a wellbore along a wireline according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 shows a flow chart of an estimation method for one embodiment according to the present disclosure; and

FIG. 3 shows schematic of the apparatus for implementing one embodiment of the method according to the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In aspects, the present disclosure relates to devices and method for providing enhanced control for flow control devices and for obtaining data relating to the formation and formation fluid. The teachings may be advantageously applied to a variety of systems both in the oil and gas industry and elsewhere. Merely for clarity, certain non-limiting embodiments will be discussed in the context of tools configured for wellbore uses.

Referring initially to FIG. 1, there is schematically illustrated one embodiment of a system 100 that may be used to control flow between a first location 102 (e.g., a subsurface formation) and a second location 104 (e.g., a fluid sampling tank or a wellbore annulus). The system 100 may include a flow control device such as a pump 101 that may include a chamber 106 having one or more valve sets 108a,b. Each valve set 108a,b may include an inlet valve 110a,b and an outlet valve 112a,b. A piston 114 translates in the chamber 106 to displace fluid. FIG. 1 illustrates a dual action pumping arrangement wherein a wall 116 divides the chamber 106 into two hydraulically isolated sections 118a,b. Valve set 108a controls flow through section 118a and valve set 108b controls flow through section 118b. The piston 114 may include a head 120a disposed in section 118a and a head 120b disposed in section 118b. A controller 122 operates the valve sets 108a,b in coordination with the piston 114 movement to draw fluid from the first location 102 and expel the fluid to the second section 104. However, other embodiments may include a single action pumping arrangement; e.g., one chamber section, one piston head and one valve set.

In certain embodiments, the system 100 may operate the valve sets 108a,b by sensing a pressure parameter relating to the sections 118a,b. For instance, pressure sensors 124a,b may be positioned in pressure communication with each section 118a,b, respectively. Additionally or alternatively, as will be described later, an indirect estimate of a pressure in the sections 118a,b may also be used to operate the valve sets 108a,b. In one embodiment, the inlet valves 110a,b and/or outlet valves 112a,b are opened upon detecting one or more pre-determined condition(s). Illustrative pre-determined conditions include, but are not limited to, a pressure differential between the sections 118a, b and first location 102 or the second location 104 that is at or below a pre-set value. For instance, the controller 122 may be programmed to permit fluid flow into and/or out of the chamber 106 only when a pressure differential is below fifty PSI or substantially zero. It should be appreciated that minimizing the pressure differential prior to allow such fluid communication may reduce the likelihood of backflow of fluids and may reduce the pressure on seal elements and other components of the valve sets 108a,b.

Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown one illustrative method 140 for controlling fluid flow in the system 100 of FIG. 1 using directly or indirectly sensed pressure parameters relating to the chamber 106. Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the method may be initiated at step 142 with the inlet valve 110a closed, the outlet valve 112a closed, and the section 118a substantially empty of fluid. In some applications, the pressure at the second location 104 may be greater than the pressure at the first location 102. This may result in a pressure in the section 118a being greater than the pressure at the first location 102. Additionally, at the initial step 142, the piston head 120a is positioned in the section 118a such that piston movement increases the volume in the section 118a and thereby reduces pressure.

At step 144, the piston head 120a is displaced to reduce pressure in the section 118a. Concurrently, the pressure sensor 124a senses the pressure in the section 118a and sends responsive signals to the controller 122. The controller 122 processes the sensor 124a signals and determines a pressure differential between the section 118a and the first location 102. The pressure at the first location 102 may pre-programmed into the controller 122. Alternatively or additionally, the pressure at the first location may be sensed using a suitable sensor, an illustrative sensor being labeled 126. For convenience, the pressure at the first location 102, which is external to the pump 101, may be referred to as the reference pressure.

At step 146, once the pre-determined pressure differential is reached between the pressure in the section 118a and the reference pressure, the controller 122 may actuate and open the inlet valve 110a. Fluid flows into the section 118a as the piston head 120a moves to further increase volume in the section 118a. At the completion of the stroke of the piston head 120a, the controller 122 may close the valve 110a at step 148.

At step 150, the piston head 120a is displaced to increase pressure in the section 118a by reducing the volume in the section 118a. Concurrently, the pressure sensor 124a senses the pressure in the section 118a and sends responsive signals to the controller 122. The controller 122 processes the sensor 124a signals and determines a pressure differential between the section 118a and the second location 104. The pressure at the second location 104 may pre-programmed into the controller 122. Alternatively or additionally, the pressure at the second location 104 may be sensed using a suitable sensor, e.g., the sensor 126. Now, the pressure at second location 104, which is also external to the pump 101, may be used as the reference pressure.

At step 152, once the pre-determined pressure differential is reached between the pressure in the section 118a and the reference pressure at the second location 104, the controller 122 may actuate and open the outlet valve 112a. Fluid flows out the section 118a as the piston head 120a moves to further decrease volume in the section 118a. At the completion of the stroke of the piston head 120a, the controller 122 may close the outlet valve 110a at step 154.

It should be appreciated that by sensing the pressure in the chamber 106 of the pump 101, pump operation may be controlled to minimize the pressure differentials existing at the time fluid flows into and out of the chamber 106. Reducing or minimizing these pressure differentials may reduce the likelihood that fluid flows in an undesirable direction (e.g., backflow) and that seals (not shown) and other components associated with the pump 101 do not encounter elevated pressures that impair operation.

While the FIG. 1 embodiment uses pressure sensors 124a,b, such as transducers, to directly sense pressure in the section 118a, indirect measurements of pressure may also be used. For example, the pump 101 may use a motor 130 to displace the piston 114. If the motor 130 is hydraulically driven, then the pressure of the hydraulic fluid used to energize the motor 130 may be monitored or sensed. That is, a relationship between applied hydraulic fluid pressure and the pressure in the section 118a may be developed, e.g., a computer model. The controller 122 may be programmed to use the model to indirectly estimate a pressure in the section 118a by sensing a pressure of the hydraulic fluid. In this instance, the hydraulic fluid pressure may be the sensed pressure parameter relating to the pump chamber 106 Likewise, if the motor 130 is electrically driven, the computer model may use a relationship between chamber 106 pressure and applied motor torque. In this instance, motor torque may be the sensed pressure parameter related to the chamber 106 pressure. Thus, generally speaking, embodiments of the present disclosure may use a sensed pressure parameter that directly or indirectly provide an estimate of a pressure in the chamber 106.

Additionally, the method 140 may be applied to both single action and dual action pumps. For instance, for dual action pumps, steps 162 to 174 may be used in a synchronous fashion with steps 142 to 154.

At step 162 the inlet valve 110b is closed, the outlet valve 112b is closed, and the section 118b is substantially filled with fluid. Additionally, at the step 162, the piston head 120b is positioned in the section 118b such that piston movement decreases the volume in the section 118b and thereby increases pressure.

At step 164, the piston head 120b is displaced to increase pressure in the section 118b. Concurrently, the pressure sensor 124b senses the pressure in the section 118b and sends responsive signals to the controller 122. The controller 122 processes the sensor 124b signals and determines a pressure differential between the section 118b and the second location 104. The pressure at the second location may pre-programmed into the controller 122. Alternatively or additionally, the pressure at the second location 104 may be sensed using a suitable sensor, e.g., sensor 126. In any case, the sensed pressure acts as the reference pressure.

In one arrangement, at step 166, once the pre-determined pressure differential is reached between the pressure in the section 118b and the reference pressure, the controller 122 may actuate and open the outlet valve 112b. Fluid flows out of the section 118b as the piston head 120b moves to further decrease volume in the section 118b. At the completion of the stroke of the piston head 120b, the controller 122 may close the outlet valve 110b at step 168. In another arrangement, the controller 122 may be programmed to receive pressure data from section 118a and section 118b. In such an arrangement, the controller 122 may be programmed to open the inlet valve 110a and the outlet valve 112b upon either section 118a or 118b reaching the desired pressure differential.

At step 170, the piston head 120b is displaced to decrease pressure in the section 118b by increasing the volume in the section 118b. Concurrently, the pressure sensor 124b senses the pressure in the section 118b and sends responsive signals to the controller 122. The controller 122 processes the sensor 124b signals and determines a pressure differential between the section 118b and the first location 102. The pressure at the first location 102 may pre-programmed into the processor 122. Alternatively or additionally, the pressure at the second location 104 may be sensed using a suitable sensor.

At step 172, once the pre-determined pressure differential is reached, the controller 122 may actuate and open the inlet valve 112b. Fluid flows into the section 118b as the piston head 120b moves to further increase volume in the section 118b. At the completion of the stroke of the piston head 120b, the controller 122 may close the inlet valve 110b at step 174. In another arrangement, the controller 122 may be programmed to close the inlet valve 110b and the outlet valve 112a upon either section 118a or 118b reaching the desired pressure differential.

Thus, it should be appreciated that the valve sets 108a,b may be operated in a synchronized fashion wherein the controller 122 operates the valves sets 108a,b using pressure parameter data that directly or indirectly provides an estimate of a pressure in the pump 101, e.g., in the pump chamber 106.

In a variant of method 140, the pump 101 may be operated in reverse in order to apply fluid pressure to the formation rather than to draw fluid from the formation. That is, for example, the pressure in the chamber 106 is increased prior to opening the inlet valve 110a to insure that fluid flows from the chamber 106 to the formation via the inlet valve 110a. Such an operation may be used to estimate a formation fracture pressure. For example, the pressure in the chamber 106 may be monitored as fluid is ejected through the inlet valve 110a. The pressure will generally increase until the pressure value exceeds the formation fracture pressure. Once the formation fractures, fluids escapes into the fissures in the borehole wall, which results in a relatively pronounced drop in pressure. The pressure sensor 118a may be used to identify the pressure at which the fracture occurs. Thus, it should be appreciated that the terms “inlet” and “outlet” are used merely for ease of discussion and do not imply that the valves or the pump are configured to convey fluid in only one direction.

Additionally, it should be understood that the devices, systems and methods of the present disclosure may also be used to estimate parameters of interest relating to wellbore equipment, the wellbore and the surrounding information. Illustrative method for estimating such parameters of interest using pressure parameters relating to the pump 101 are discussed below.

In one method for enhanced estimates of the volume of fluid being pumped to the second location 104 (e.g., a sample container 32 of FIG. 3), pumped volume-related data is collected only when either inlet valve or the outlet valve is open. This data may then be processed to estimate a volume of fluid pumped by the pump. For example, piston movement may be associated with volume of fluid pumped. That is, a specified amount of piston movement may be correlated to a specified volume of fluid. The controller 122 may be programmed to use piston movement data only when either the inlet valve or the outlet valve is open to estimate the volume of fluid pumped. By not using piston movement data when both valves are closed, the effect of fluid compressibility may be reduced or eliminated from the volume estimation. Such correlations may also take into account other factors such as pressure, temperature, prior test data, etc.

In an exemplary method for enhanced estimates of fluid properties or composition, a suitable sensor may sense a parameter indicative of piston movement when the inlet valve and the outlet valve are closed. This data may then be analyzed to estimate a parameter of interest relating to the fluid, such as fluid compressibility and/or a presence of a gas in the fluid.

In an exemplary method for estimating bubble point for the formation fluid, fluid may be trapped in the chamber 106 by closing the inlet valve 110a and the outlet valve 112a. Thereafter, pressure is reduced in the chamber 106. The bubble point pressure of the fluid may be estimated using a pressure sensor 124a associated with the chamber 106 to identify the pressure at which gas bubble form. The pressure in the chamber 106 may also be sensed indirectly.

In still other modes of operation, the sensors 124a,b may be used to sense pressure at locations other than the chamber 106. For example, by opening the outlet valve 112a, the sensor 124a may sense the pressure in the fluid sample tank 32 (FIG. 3) or the wellbore annulus. Also, by opening the inlet valve 110a, the sensor 124a may sense the pressure in the formation.

Such correlations may also take into account other factors such as pressure, temperature, prior test data, etc. As should be appreciated, the teachings of the present disclosure may be applied to a variety of situations, some of which involve the evaluation of subterranean formation. FIG. 3 illustrates one non-limiting embodiment of wellbore systems that may use aspects of the present disclosure.

FIG. 3 is a schematically illustrates a wellbore system 10 deployed from a rig 12 into a borehole 14. While a land-based rig 12 is shown, it should be understood that the present disclosure may be applicable to offshore rigs and subsea formations. The wellbore system 10 may include a carrier 16 and a fluid analysis tool 20. The fluid analysis tool 20 may include a probe 22 that contacts a borehole wall 24 for extracting formation fluid from a formation 26. Wellbore fluid can be drawn from the borehole 14 also by not extending the probe 22 to the wall and pumping fluid from the borehole 14 instead of the formation 26. The fluid analysis tool 20 may include a pump 101 that pumps formation fluid from formation 26 via the probe 22. Formation fluid travels along a flow line to one or more sample containers 32 or to line 34 where the formation fluid exits to the borehole 14. Alternatively, the pump 101 may be operated to apply fluid pressure to the borehole wall 24.

In some embodiments, the wellbore system 10 may be a drilling system configured to form the borehole 14 using tools such as a drill bit (not shown) and may also be equipped with a survey tool 11. In such embodiments, the carrier 16 may be a coiled tube, casing, liners, drill pipe, etc. In other embodiments, the wellbore system 10 may convey the survey tool 11 with a non-rigid carrier. In such arrangements, the carrier 16 may be wirelines, wireline sondes, slickline sondes, e-lines, etc. The term “carrier” as used herein means any device, device component, combination of devices, media and/or member that may be used to convey, house, support or otherwise facilitate the use of another device, device component, combination of devices, media and/or member. The data collected by the survey tool 11 may be processed by a surface controller 36 as in this example or by using a downhole controller 122 to determine the desired parameter. The controller 122 may be an information processor that is data communication with a data storage medium and a processor memory. The surface controller 36 and the downhole controller 122 may communicate via a communication link, such as a data conductor 39. The data storage medium may be any standard computer data storage device, such as a USB drive, memory stick, hard disk, removable RAM, EPROMs, EAROMs, flash memories and optical disks or other commonly used memory storage system known to one of ordinary skill in the art including Internet based storage. The data storage medium may store one or more programs that when executed causes information processor to execute the disclosed method(s). Signals indicative of the parameter may be transmitted to a surface controller 36 via a transmitter 42. The transmitter 42 may be located in the BHA or at another location on the carrier 16 (e.g., drill string). These signals may also, or in the alternative, be stored downhole in a data storage device and may also be processed and used downhole for geosteering or for any other suitable downhole purpose. In one example, wired pipe may be used for transmitting information.

During one exemplary use, the survey tool 11 is positioned adjacent a formation of interest and the probe 22 is pressed into sealing engagement with the borehole wall 24. Using the method of FIG. 2 to operate the pump 101, the pressure in the probe 22 is lowered below the pressure of the formation fluids so that the formation fluids flow through the probe 22 into the tool 20. As indicated previously, the pump 101 may be a single action pump, a dual action pump, or some other configuration. During pumping, it should be appreciated that the flow from the formation to the chamber 106 (FIG. 1) is permitted generally only when the chamber pressure is lower than the formation fluid pressure, and the flow out of the chamber 106 (FIG. 1) is permitted generally only when the chamber pressure is greater than the pressure in a sample container 32 or the borehole annulus 34. Thus, counter flow or back flow at the opening of the valves 110a, b, 112a,b is minimized during pump operation. Additionally, the minimal pressure differentials reduce the pressure applied to the various components of the pump 101, such as the seals, when the valves 110a, b, 112a,b are opened. As described previously, the controller 122 may control the opening and closing of the valves 110a, b, 112a,b using the pressure in the chamber 106, which may be sensed directly or indirectly.

During another exemplary use, the survey tool 11 is positioned adjacent to a formation of interest and the probe 22 is pressed into sealing engagement with the borehole wall 24. The pump 101 may be operated to increase the pressure in the probe 22. As the pressure in the probe 22 is increased to apply pressure to the borehole wall 24, the sensor or sensors 124a,b sense the pressure of the fluid in contact with the borehole wall 24. Alternatively or additionally, the pressure may be sensed indirectly as previously discussed. The fracture pressure of the formation may be estimated from processing the data relating to the sensed pressure.

In yet other uses, the pump 101 and the pressure parameter data obtained by the sensors associated with the pump 101 may be used to estimate parameters of interest relating to wellbore equipment, the wellbore and the surrounding information such as fluid compressibility and/or a presence of a gas in the fluid, the bubble point pressure of the fluid.

Moreover, while fluid analysis tools have been discussed, it should be appreciated that the teachings of the present disclosure may be used in any number of tools that control or direct flow. Thus, for instance, the teachings of the present disclosure may be used to enhance the operation of valves in drilling motors, steering device, thrusters, active stabilizers, intelligent completion devices, etc.

Thus, it should be appreciated that what has been described includes, in part, an apparatus for controlling fluid flow that may include a chamber having a first valve and a second valve; a sensor that senses a pressure parameter associated with the chamber; and a controller programmed to operate the first valve and the second valve in response to the sensed pressure parameter. The controller may be programmed to use a reference pressure value to operate the first valve, and/or the second valve. The reference pressure value may be a pressure of a fluid in a formation, a pressure of a fluid in a wellbore, and/or a pressure in a sample container. Also, the controller may be programmed to compare the sensed pressure parameter with the reference pressure value. The controller may be programmed to use an estimated difference between the sensed pressure parameter and the reference pressure value to operate the first valve, and/or a second valve. The first valve may be configured to control fluid flow between a subsurface formation and the chamber. The second valve may be configured to control fluid flow between the chamber and a wellbore, and/or a container.

It should also be appreciated that what has been described includes, in part, a method for controlling fluid flow. The method may include controlling a first valve and a second valve in fluid communication with a chamber by sensing a pressure parameter associated with the chamber. The method may include using reference pressure value to operate the first valve, and/or the second valve. The reference pressure value may be a pressure of a fluid in a formation, or a pressure of a fluid in a wellbore. The method may also include comparing the sensed pressure parameter with the reference pressure value to operate the first valve and/or the second valve and/or estimating a difference between the sensed pressure parameter and the reference pressure value to operate the first valve, and/or the second valve. The method may further include controlling fluid flow between a subsurface formation and the chamber using the first valve. Controlling the fluid flow may be done using the second valve that is positioned between the chamber and one of: (a) a wellbore, and (b) a container.

The method may be used in an arrangement wherein the chamber is formed in a pump. In such arrangements, the method may include estimating a parameter of interest relating to the pump only when the first valve or the second valve are open; and estimating a volume of pumped fluid using the estimated parameter of interest. In arrangements where the chamber is formed in a pump and a piston is disposed in the chamber, the method may include sensing piston movement when the first valve and the second valve are closed; and estimating a parameter of interest relating to the fluid in the chamber using the sensed piston movement. The estimated parameter of interest may be one of: (i) a presence of a gas in the fluid, and (ii) fluid compressibility. In embodiments, the method may include opening the second valve; and estimating a pressure at a selected wellbore location using a sensor associated with the chamber, wherein the selected wellbore location may be an annulus, and/or a sample container. The method may also include closing the first valve and the second valve; reducing a pressure in the chamber; and estimating a bubble point pressure using a sensor associated with the chamber.

It should further be appreciated that what has been described includes, in part, an apparatus for sampling a fluid from a subsurface formation. The apparatus may include a pump in fluid communication with the at least one sampling tank. The pump may include a chamber having a first valve and a second valve; a sensor configured to sense a pressure parameter associated with the chamber; and a controller programmed to operate the first valve and the second valve in response to the sensed pressure parameter; a sampling probe configured to contact a wellbore wall and being in fluid communication with the first valve; and at least one sampling tank in fluid communication with the second valve. The sensor may be configured to sense a pressure in the chamber and/or a motor associated with the motor.

While the foregoing disclosure is directed to the one mode embodiments of the disclosure, various modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art. It is intended that all variations be embraced by the foregoing disclosure.

Claims

1. An apparatus for controlling fluid flow, comprising:

a chamber having a first valve and a second valve;
a sensor configured to sense a pressure parameter associated with the chamber; and
a controller programmed to operate the first valve and the second valve in response to the sensed pressure parameter.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the controller is further programmed to use a reference pressure value to operate at least one of: (i) the first valve, and (ii) the second valve.

3. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the reference pressure value is one of: (i) a pressure of a fluid in a formation, (ii) a pressure of a fluid in a wellbore, and (iii) a pressure in a sample container.

4. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the controller is programmed to compare the sensed pressure parameter with the reference pressure value.

5. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the controller is programmed to use an estimated difference between the sensed pressure parameter and the reference pressure value to operate one of (i) the first valve, and (ii) a second valve.

6. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the first valve is configured to control fluid flow between a subsurface formation and the chamber.

7. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the second valve is configured to control fluid flow between the chamber and one of: (a) a wellbore, and (b) a container.

8. A method for controlling fluid flow, comprising:

controlling a first valve and a second valve in fluid communication with a chamber by sensing a pressure parameter associated with the chamber.

9. The method according to claim 8, further comprising using a reference pressure value to operate at least one of: (i) the first valve, and (ii) the second valve.

10. The method according to claim 9, wherein the reference pressure value is one of: (i) a pressure of a fluid in a formation, and (ii) a pressure of a fluid in a wellbore.

11. The method according to claim 9, further comprising comparing the sensed pressure parameter with the reference pressure value to operate one of: (i) the first valve, and (ii) the second valve.

12. The method according to claim 9, further comprising estimating a difference between the sensed pressure parameter and the reference pressure value to operate at least one of: (i) the first valve, and (ii) a second valve.

13. The method according to claim 8, further comprising controlling fluid flow between a subsurface formation and the chamber using the first valve.

14. The method according to claim 8, further comprising controlling fluid flow by using the second valve positioned between the chamber and one of: (a) a wellbore, and (b) a container.

15. The method according to claim 8, wherein the chamber is formed in a pump; and further comprising:

estimating a parameter of interest relating to the pump only when at least one of the (i) first valve and, (ii) the second valve are open; and
estimating a volume of pumped fluid using the estimated parameter of interest.

16. The method according to claim 15, wherein the chamber is formed in a pump and a piston is disposed in the chamber, and further comprising:

sensing piston movement when the first valve and the second valve are closed;
estimating a parameter of interest relating to the fluid in the chamber using the sensed piston movement.

17. The method according to claim 16 wherein the estimated parameter of interest is one of: (i) a presence of a gas in the fluid, and (ii) fluid compressibility.

18. The method according to claim 8, further comprising:

opening the second valve; and
estimating a pressure at a selected wellbore location using a sensor associated with the chamber, wherein the selected wellbore location is one of: (i) an annulus, and (ii) a sample container.

19. The method according to claim 8, further comprising:

closing the first valve and the second valve;
reducing a pressure in the chamber; and
estimating a bubble point pressure using a sensor associated with the chamber.

20. An apparatus for sampling a fluid from a subsurface formation, comprising: at least one sampling tank in fluid communication with the second valve.

a pump in fluid communication with the at least one sampling tank, the pump including:
a chamber having a first valve and a second valve;
a sensor configured to sense a pressure parameter associated with the chamber; and
a controller programmed to operate the first valve and the second valve in response to the sensed pressure parameter;
a sampling probe configured to contact a wellbore wall and being in fluid communication with the first valve; and

21. The apparatus according to claim 20, wherein the sensor is configured to sense: (i) a pressure in the chamber, (ii) a motor associated with the motor.

Patent History

Publication number: 20110198077
Type: Application
Filed: Feb 14, 2011
Publication Date: Aug 18, 2011
Patent Grant number: 8708042
Applicant: BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED (HOUSTON, TX)
Inventors: Tobias Kischkat (Celle), Eick Niemeyer (Celle), Alexander Otto (Hannover)
Application Number: 13/026,465

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: With Indicating, Testing, Measuring Or Locating (166/250.01); Automatic (166/53); Programmer Or Timer (137/624.11); By Fluid Pressure (137/12)
International Classification: E21B 47/06 (20060101); E21B 47/00 (20060101); E21B 43/12 (20060101); F17D 3/00 (20060101);